FBI warns extremist letters may encourage violence

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal intelligence note is warning police that an anti-government group's call to remove dozens of sitting governors may encourage others to act out violently.

A group that calls itself the Guardians of the free Republics has a plan to "restore America" by peacefully dismantling parts of the government, according to its Web site.

As of Wednesday, more than 30 governors had received letters demanding they leave office within three days or they will be removed, according to an internal intelligence note by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

Investigators do not see threats of violence in the group's message, but fear the broad call for removing top state officials could inspire others to act out violently.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's office confirmed the governor had received a letter and directed all further questions to the Louisiana State Police.

Lt. Doug Cain, a state police spokesman, said the letter from the Guardians of the free Republics arrived at the governor's office and the state police were called.

"They called us as they do for any letter that's out of the norm," Cain said.

He declined to provide specifics about the letter, but said, "I can't say if it was threatening, but I can say that not knowing the group and the information contained in the letter warranted state police to review it." Cain said the letter has gone to numerous governors across the country.


Associated Press Writer Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, La., contributed to this report.

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